Ask Me to Dance

February 10, 2021

If I told you that there was a business practice that could make you three times more likely to be a high performing organization, would you be interested?

Ask me to dance.

And if told you that that same practice meant that your business was four times more likely to be innovative and agile…would you want to know what this magic bullet was?

Ask me to dance.

Finally, if I said that making sure you practiced this one thing, you’d be eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes, would you be in a big hurry to

Ask me to dance?

The business practice I’m talking about is creating a culture of inclusion in your business. And according to Deloitte Insights, organizations with inclusive cultures experience these significant benefits over organizations that do not have such cultures.

So, what’s all this about dancing?   

It comes from Verna Myers’ powerful description of the difference between diversity and inclusion: “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Take it from a person who spent more than one middle school dance standing miserably against the wall, there’s a big difference between the two.

Company culture is the shared set of values, beliefs and attitudes that guide your business and organization. It’s reflected in every aspect of organizational behavior and practice.

Creating a specific company culture doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s an intentional and ongoing attention to how and why things are done and it involves every member of the team.

An inclusive workplace culture embraces unique ideas, experiences, perspectives, and people.  Here are six things that you can do to create an inclusive culture in your business:

Be intentional – Intentionally focusing on and talking about inclusivity keeps the concept top-of-mind for everyone in the organization. Make sure that everyone on the team understands that inclusivity is essential to organizational success.

Create a sense of belonging – When team members feel as though they are part of an organization that knows and values them, they feel a stronger connection and make a bigger investment in the shared vision.

Listen to every voice – When people feel heard, they feel seen, respected and valued. Team members are more likely to share their ideas and opinions when they know they will be received.

Ensure access to resources – Making sure that everyone has access to the support, technology, training and other resources that will support their success is essential to creating inclusion.

Emphasize collaboration – Fostering connections within and between teams means that your business can utilize the strengths and skills of every individual, regardless of their specific work assignment within the organization.

Celebrate uniqueness – Every person needs to feel that their unique perspectives, experiences and skills are valued within the workplace.  Make sure that people feel appreciated for who they are as well as for what they do.

 

Making the effort to create and sustain an inclusive culture in your business will pay big dividends. This means that everyone is not just invited to the party, but that they are all asked to dance.

 

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris